Have you ever had a salesperson give you multiple options and provide little to no detail about why one product is better than another? Did this make you feel confident in shelling out the funds to purchase this item? Isn’t it wonderful when a salesperson accurately uncovers your needs, shares 1-2 options, and clearly articulates why it is the right choice?
This is a perfect example of how an uncertain communication style (or actual lack of confidence) can chip away at your trust in another person’s recommendation and by extension – them.
In business, it is no different.
This isn’t surprising when you consider that a company must make large scale decisions, leveraging incredible resources, in order to meet the demands of the market, remain viable, and succeed. It is critical that the company have strong players in its ranks in order to move quickly and successfully.
If you are new to a field, generally believe that others have a stronger background or skill set than you, or just suffer from a general lack of confidence then you may be missing out on opportunities in your career.
8 Confidence Hacks to Improve Your Workplace Brand:
- Recognize that you have value as a person (and no mistake in the workplace can change that)
- If you career means a lot to you or if you heavily financially depend on your current role it can be difficult to separate your value from your job. It’s critical to disconnect your feelings of value from your position in order to maintain perspective, gain confidence, and find greater success.
- If this sounds like you, here’s an exercise to perform: write a list of all the ways you are a good and valuable person. Select things that are not tied to a specific job. What do you bring to the world?
- Own your unique brand of knowledge and experience
- There may be people in your organization with a deeper level of understanding in a particular area – but only YOU have the exact background, experience, education, and knowledge that YOU have.
- If you find yourself doubting what you bring to the table, then it’s important to do a skills and knowledge inventory. By writing a list of your skills and experience you will gain more perspective about the value you bring to the organization. Brand new? This means you bring fresh ideas. Recognize what sets you apart and fully own those things.
- Confront your deepest fears and set them free
- You may not even be fully conscious of the fears that are driving your decision-making or paralysis in the workplace. Deeply held fears tickle the back of our minds as we operate each day and can prevent us from taking the big bold steps we need to.
- I highly recommend writing out your biggest fear and mind mapping the outcome. Are you afraid of losing your job? Being made fun of? Looking silly? Once you land on your fear, imagine that it really happens – how would you respond? Often the fear leads to unnecessary anxiety as the reality of the fear would be solved without much trouble.
- Accept that some people will never like you
- No matter how wonderful you are there will be people who do not like you. If you are a people-pleaser this can be more difficult to come to terms with.
- To release yourself from this loop of trying to win over those who can’t be won, try this: Tell yourself “they will never like me so how would I prefer to respond knowing that this is true?” Will you decide to spend less energy on this relationship? Will you unhook your self-worth from this failing relationship?
- When confronted with something tough – delay your response
- It’s natural to want to jump in – or be defensive – when confronted. However, acting defensively can chip away at your brand reputation. Instead, ask questions and listen attentively. This allows you to gather your thoughts and remain calm.
- Remove qualifiers from your language
- This is your practical “fake it to make it” tip. Qualifying what you are about to share shows that you are not confident in your message. It’s important that you offer your best judgement when communicating.
- Stop saying phrases like “I think” or “Maybe we could..” Instead say “I know that” or “In my experience, I’ve found…”
- Throw your shoulders back
- Confidence isn’t only shown in what you say but also how you present yourself.
- Wear clothes that you feel good in, sit up straight with your shoulders back, smile, and listen intently. This shows respect to others and in return they respect you back.
- Be gracious with feedback
- Leaders can take critical feedback and distill it to a point or two that should be considered. By sincerely thanking others for their feedback you show an incredible amount of confidence. Insecure people get defensive, argue about the feedback, or refuse to ask for or respect feedback.
- If you don’t understand (or trust) the feedback you’ve received, instead of being defensive or frustrated – ask for examples. This will give you a much better idea as to why you received the feedback you did and how to apply it.
The way you approach your work and communication is your daily “sales pitch.” By honing your inner thoughts and outer approach, you will quickly grow into a bolder version of yourself and leave the (real or perceived) uncertainty behind.
Any other pro tips? Comment your ideas below.
Rachel Woodman has 13 years of sales, marketing, and business experience primarily within Corporate America. She loves to learn, coach, and otherwise discuss everything leadership, career, job skills, and resume building. She currently resides in Minneapolis-St. Paul.